Bomber offence spins tires

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

He got the starting job without so much as breaking a training-camp sweat, head coach Jim Daley handing it to him, along with his playbook and hotel room key, the moment he got into town.

The fact he came into the season as the least experienced starting quarterback in the CFL West didn't matter.

Neither did the presence of two pretty good prospects behind him, in Spergon Wynn and Tee Martin.

And when he turned in a yawner of a performance in the pre-season opener in Edmonton, nothing changed.

No, come hell or high water -- an apt description of our spring weather, don't you think? -- Kevin Glenn would be the starting quarterback when the Bombers opened their 75th season in Saskatchewan, June 25.

We know this because Daley told us. And he made sure we didn't forget it, repeating it like a mantra through training camp.

The last thing this team needed was a quarterback controversy, the Bomber boss explained.

Seems to me a quarterback controversy worked out just fine for the B.C. Lions last season, but we digress.

Daley's approach was well thought-out, designed to give Glenn every chance to succeed.

Still young for a starter, at 26, Glenn didn't need to look over his shoulder, the thinking went. That would allow him to concentrate on learning a new offence.

That philosophy is all well and good, but there comes a time when philosophy takes a back seat to performance. Bomber fans were waiting for it last night, in the pre-season finale against the Eskimos.

JUSTIFIED

It's likely even Daley was hoping to see signs his faith in Glenn was justified, that the Detroit native would put some wheels under the Bomber attack.

Based on Glenn's 30-minute appearance in a 23-9 loss, this machine still needs a little service before Daley rolls it out for regular-season competition.

And the driver has some brushing up to do, too.

With Glenn at the controls for the first half, guiding mostly the No. 1 unit, the Winnipeg offence managed to score three, measly points.

From his first drive, in which he was nearly picked off, to his last, which ended with a fumble, Glenn did little to stir the juices of the 28,000-plus in the stands.

OK, there was one shining moment, a deep fade pass, thrown with a perfect touch to Milt Stegall in the first quarter and resulting in a 41-yard gain. That was about half of Glenn's production on the night, as he finished with just 90 yards through the air.

It's not like he was directing a scintillating ground attack, either.

Winnipeg's total offence in the half: 92 yards, five first downs and a time of possession of just 8:25, compared to Edmonton's 21:35.

We should point out Martin and Wynn didn't fair much better. In fact, don't be surprised if one of them is gone, after newcomer Russ Michna was the best of the bunch for the second straight week.

Glenn wasn't awful -- he showed his quick release and ability to get away from the rush a few times.

He was also victimized by receivers' mistakes, including a slip by Wane McGarity that led to an interception. McGarity dropped a pass, too, killing a Bomber drive.

But on a first-quarter swing pass to Roberts that had potential, No. 5 missed by a mile. And his decision to throw deep to McGarity into double-coverage was questionable.

Glenn still had a chance to redeem himself, given a chance to operate the two-minute offence to end the half.

That's when, under pressure from the Edmonton defence, he fumbled his last snap.

No, Kevin Glenn didn't reach out and grab the starting quarterback's job with both hands last night.

Then again, he didn't have to.

I'm not sure about the philosophy, but I know one thing. From now on, it's all about performance.


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